The Beacon

Blog Tags: Sharks

Online “Tree of Life” is Your Ultimate Guide to Sharks, Rays, and Skates

There are over 350 shark species that exist

A Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

When you think of Shark Week, the chances are that you're picturing a great white or a hammerhead shark. Or, if you’re thinking about the ancient oceans, you’re likely picturing the Megalodon thanks to Shark Week. But the handful of celebrity shark species that get the most attention this week don't even begin to cover the incredible range of shark and ray species out there.


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Photos: Introducing Deep-Sea Sharks, Some of the Wildest Looking Fish in the Oceans

Deep sea sharks have special adaptations

Frilled Shark (Chlamydoselachus anguineus). (Photo: © Citron / CC-BY-SA-3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Did you know that over 350 shark species exist? Despite that massive number, most of the cartilaginous fish that get our attention are often the ones that frequent coastlines or are the most charismatic, like great white sharks and whale sharks.


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Poll: What’s Your Favorite Shark Species?

Favorite shark species

Caribbean Reef Shark (Carcharhinus perezi). (Photo: Oceana / Carlos Suárez)

In honor of Discovery’s Shark Week, The Beacon will be celebrating the wonders of sharks through Friday. With over 350 shark species, the class Chondrichthyes is full of biodiversity, from sawfish to manta rays and famous great white sharks.

This week, we’re asking our readers to weigh in your favorite shark species. You have until Thursday, August 14 at 11:59 p.m. to pick one of the shark species below (take a look beneath the poll for a glimpse of each species), and whichever shark gets the most votes will be featured on The Beacon on Friday with a full species bio.


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Photos: The 10 Coolest Facts You Never Knew about Sharks

Top ten cool shark facts

A school of scalloped hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini). (Photo: Oceana / Rob Stewart)

From our obsession with shark-themed movies like “Jaws,” to our desire to collect shark teeth at the beach, there's no denying that humans have a fascination with these cartilaginous fish.

But, just how well do you know these creatures? Even if you consider yourself pretty knowledgeable about these species, there’s always something new to learn. Take a look below at ten cool shark facts that may make you look at these ancient creatures in a different light.


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Ocean News: Sharks Seized from Poachers in the Gulf of Mexico, Elusive Jellyfish Makes Rare Appearance, and More

Sharks were seized from poaching vessels in the Gulf of Mexico

A shark caught on a long line. (Photo: NOAA Photo Library / Flickr Creative Commons)

- It turns out that sharks may be confusing surfers for birds, according to a study that examined a previous deadly shark attack. That study found that the motions made by kite surfers puts them at particular risk. Discovery News


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Photos: Meet the Ocean Animals with the Wildest Teeth

Fangtooth moray eel has wild, glass-like teeth

The fangtooth moray eel, an eel species with multiple glass-like teeth. (Photo: Philippe Guillaume / Flickr Creative Commons)

When you’re out swimming or surfing at the beach, have you ever wondered which ocean animals surrounding you have teeth? It turns out that sharks aren’t the only marine animals with teeth—a tool in some marine animals may be more widespread than you thought.

From hundreds of sharp, razor-blade-like teeth in great white sharks to the singular long, spiraled tooth on narwhales, teeth come in all shapes in sizes in marine ecosystems. This diversity is for good reason—some use their teeth to shred and slice prey, while others use their teeth more as a harpoon.


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Impacts of Climate Change on Highly Migratory Species Prioritized in NMFS Management Plan

Bluefin tuna are a highly migratory species affected by climate change

A bluefin tuna, a migratory species affected by climate change. (Photo: Oceana / Keith Ellenbogen)

Many marine species face endless obstacles: Overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction are large threats, as well as climate change and its associated negative impacts. Factors ranging from their habitat, food source, predator defense, migration routes, and breeding grounds are already changing from warming seas, and these impacts are so widespread that it’s caught fisheries managers’ attention.


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Ocean News: Scientists Sound Alarm Over Shark Cull Program, Fabien Cousteau Returns from Underwater Mission, and More

A tiger shark (Galeocardo cuvier)

A tiger shark (Galeocardo cuvier). (Photo: Willy Volk / Flickr Creative Commons)

- An international group of 301 scientists submitted a letter to Western Australia's Environmental Protection Authority expressing concern over the controversial shark cull program, saying it could effect the ecology of the oceans. The program caught 172 sharks during its trial period this past spring. The Guardian


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Shark Antibodies Could Improve Human Disease Treatment, Study Shows

Galapagos shark swimming over coral

Galapagos shark (Carcharhinus galapagensis). (Photo: Oceana / Eduardo Sorensen)

Sharks are often portrayed as the monsters of the deep or the villains in horror movies, famous for their menacing teeth and killer attack instincts. In real life, however, sharks have recently inspired scientists to make strides toward improving treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and multiple sclerosis.


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Fins Are Finished

(Photo: Choo Yut Shing)

Each year, millions of sharks are slaughtered for their fins to meet the demand for shark fin soup. Over the past few years, several U.S. states passed laws against the trade in shark fins to help shut down the market. In the recent issue of Oceana magazine, we reveal how a government agency is taking steps to undermine these bans.


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